Sunday, January 30, 2011

What Does It Mean To "See Through Your Heart" and Why Is It Important To Practice Doing So Everyday?

I have been using this statement a lot lately, especially with my kids.  "See through your heart."  Thanks to Summer McStravik ( for inspiring the analogy I am going to use to explain this idea:

God gave us the ability to instantly know to remove our hand if we touch a hot plate. It is wired in us. That same gift was given to us by how we feel when we experience something undesirable.  If it doesn't feel good what do we do to feel better?  It is my opinion that there is always an opportunity to find what feels good if you choose to look for it.

My son came home this week telling me about a little boy in school and his not-so-positive behavior toward another little boy.  I explained that talking about this boy's actions was like "highlighting" the little boy's negative behavior and therefore adding energy to what this boy said and therefore unintentionally attracting this kind of undesired behavior into my son's own experience, I asked him to try and see it through his heart.*  

Photo by Ximena Brunette
My son and I began a conversation about the different ways we could feel compassion for the boys.  I explained that sometimes the things we see as "bad" could actually be good for us.  You see, if things were always good how would we be pushed to learn and grow?  It is the "icky" feeling that warns us and wakes us up. We "highlighted" the good that comes from positive words and actions, therefore, attracting more of that kind of energy and experience into his life. We discussed how good he feels when he lifts others up.  We discussed how it would feel to be on the receiving end of his positive words and actions.  We both felt really good about what we concluded together.  We gave thanks to God for the experience presented to my son and for what we learned from it.

"We can increase the frequency of guiding coincidences by uplifting every person that comes into our lives.  Care must be taken not to lose our inner connection in romantic relationships.  Uplifting others is especially effective in groups where each member can feel energy of all the others.  With children it is extremely important for their early security and growth.  By seeing the beauty in every face, we lift others into their wisest self, and increase the chances of hearing a synchronistic message." 
 --The Celestine Prophecy: Insight Number 8, James Redfield

The Law of Attraction is Constant
By definition the Law of Attraction means like attracts like.  It doesn't discriminate and decide what is best for us.  It gives us exactly what we are "putting out there." The unintentional thinking and talking we do everyday when we are frustrated, sad, worried, angry, annoyed or stressed has everything to do with attracting more of what we DO NOT like into our life experience.  We all have a tendency do this.  One conversation doesn't change the world or my son.  Daily practice is a must.

There is great pleasure to discover behind daily purposeful, loving and positive thinking. We have the power to direct the Flow of Energy we desire.

*NOTE:  If bullying was a concern, be assured, I would take proper measures.  My purpose is to write about this experience with the perspective of light and love and switching from knee-jerk reactions to "seeing through your heart."
Recommended Reading
If you have never read Celestine Prophecy, then you have missed out on some epic reading.  This 246 page paperback is a gripping story that takes place in the rain forests of Peru.  It is a fast-paced adventure and guide that reveals 9 key insights about life.   It inspires our thinking about why we are here and it opens our hearts with optimism and new found energy.  In the mid 90s, The Celestine Prophecy spent over 3 years on the New York Times Bestseller List and 2 years as the number one American book around the world.  You may use the link below for more information and for purchasing.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More on 2011 and the Numerology Behind 111

One beautiful benefit I get by having a blog is the network of people I have connected with all over the world.  By researching my material I get to reach out to others, ask questions and learn more so that I can then share what I learned with you.

When I wrote my article, 2011, Numerology, Law of Attraction and Manifestation, I received a high number of responses.  Most of you shared with me how often you were seeing 11 or 111.  In my research, I came across celebrity numerologist, Tania Gabrielle.  On January 21st, Tania addressed the numerology behind 111.  I thought you would enjoy what she had to say and with her permission, below is what she wrote:

111-The Secret Code

Yesterday I received this question on my Facebook page.


‘If you add the last 2 numbers of your year of birth plus the age you'll be in 2011, the result will be 111 - or 11 if born in the 21th century.

‘What does this mean?’
Johan Peeters

Well, Johan, it means a great deal. Thank you for sharing this important piece of information.

First, add the age you will be turning in 2011 to the last two digits of your birth year – you must have been born in the 20th century. Do this for anyone you know.  You will be astounded. EVERYONE has the same number activated.


In fact, everyone experiences this code in the 11th year of every century.

However, this information was not known widely - until 2011, thanks to the internet. The fact that we are now aware of this universal activation of 111 is very significant.

111 is a powerful triple Master Number.
Triple 1 gives triple creativity, originality, leadership. It demands forward movement and Action.  Standing on your own. Relying on your inner resources to create instant results.

At the same time the three 1s show that ‘three’s a crowd.’ You are going to be asked to remain balanced while influences from your environment and the people in your life impact you on a deeper level than ever before.

11 is Light, Electricity and Activation.
111 magnifies this. The two outside 1’s are the pillars and the middle 1 is YOU walking through that gateway into the Light, into the Unknown, where everything is created.

The 111 literally SHOWS you are manifesting NOW. There is no choice in the matter. You are creating your reality very, very quickly this year.

What you think, feel and do will be reflected immediately. It will set the stage for a long time to come.

It makes sense that our children - those born in 2000 or after, and will be no older than 11 this year - will all be under the 11 influence. Children and adults born in the 1900s will help guide the younger children through the 111 gateway.

Why would the whole of humanity be tied to 111 or 11.  To let us know we must get our whole life balanced.

Make sure you address all those parts of your life that need to be transformed from division or incompletion into a state of BALANCE. Your health, your finances, your relationships, beliefs and your career.

Do you feel connected and grounded in the place you live. Do you have a good support network of people you can trust implicitly.

Pinpoint who and what is affecting you diversely. You only want to accept the uplifting and supportive qualities in your life right now.

111 adds up to 3 - the number of self expression, creativity, joy and perfection. 3 is symbolized by the triad of mother-father-child. So it represents Creation.

To sum up -
In 2011 we are all being prompted in one way or another to bring our life into balance. You do this by walking through the gateway of Truth into the Unknwown – 111 – and creating the life you always wanted.

It requires a lot of honesty, inner release work and a dedication to YOU. You are the driving force now. No one else controls your pain or successes - except you.

Here is the great news.
In 2011 you will be supported more than EVER to manifest your goals. This is because 2011 reduces to 4, the frequency that grounds and manifests your thoughts and emotions into Physical Reality.

So be careful what you ask for, you will manifest ALL.

I have a major event planned to show you how to use your own personal secret code to fulfill your dreams with brilliant speed. Announcement on the event is coming shortly.

Isn’t it amazing how ALL of humanity has the 111 or 11 connection in 2011.

When a code is activated across the board like this, its influence on you and the world around you is incredibly strong.

About the Author
Tania Gabrielle, Celebrity Numerologist Composer and Author of “The Unrevealed Secrets of Political Success: How Names and Dates Shape United States History” advises thousands of clients around the world. Her insights have been published in Entertainment Weekly and ESPN Magazine and online by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Essence Magazine and US Magazine. She is a sought-after guest on radio shows across North America and Europe.

As a composer, Tania Gabrielle has enjoyed performances worldwide by Grammy-award-winning musicians.

More information about Tania Gabrielle can be found on 

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Makes a Teacher? By Letting Go of Traditional Ideas I Discovered a Different World

What exactly makes a good teacher? Is it the one with the most degrees? The one with the most published books? The one who markets themselves best? What exactly qualifies someone as a "teacher?" Like probably most of us, I admit to having [false] ideas of what makes a good teacher. I've concluded that it has very little to do with the teacher and everything to do with the student.

Amazing enough, what ever I required to get me to the next level of thinking (or doing) simply appeared.  It still does today.  The teacher showed up when my level of passion to learn matched the level of passion that a teacher had on the subject. However, the teacher almost never showed up in the form we would traditionally imagine.

Teachers in a Box

Unpacking boxes after arriving in Delaware I discovered one particular (very heavy) box of books from authors like Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Tony Robbins, Steven Covey, and more -- some over 10 years old -- none of which were ever touched by me.  I couldn't even tell you how I acquired them.  Looking back it's almost as though they were chasing me down and I was too busy to notice them. My husband read Steven Covey in the early 90s and I recall him attempting to get me on board with some of his ideas.  The student wasn't ready.  Let me digress for a second and take a moment to publicly apologize, "Sorry, were right."

Angels Getting My Attention and Bearing Gifts

What happens next is all about the Law of Synchronicity (in other words, there is no such thing as coincidence).  I suppose I had to be forcibly stopped--starting with my knee--a torn meniscus.  I arranged for a Reiki healing to help support the upcoming surgery and when the session was over the Reiki healer and I never discussed my knee but the deep pain I felt in my upper back.  It showed up almost out of nowhere and man was I in pain!  She said to me, "Have you ever heard of Etherical Cords?"  What?  Was she speaking in tongues?  When I left I couldn't even recall what she said to me.  The student wasn't ready.

Preparing for surgery I went to the internet and researched meditation techniques that would help with pre and post operation.  During my search, I came across an internet radio station, Hay House Radio and it peaked my interest.  I clicked on the show and listened while I continued to do my research. 

Doreen Virtue was hosting her show and I "happen" to catch "this" particular show where she discussed.....are you ready....Etherical Cords.  There were those words again!  This time I wrote them down.  I figured I had to deal with my upper back pain eventually, but in the meantime, I was going to get through knee surgery and when I recovered I promised myself to get back to researching Doreen Virtue and Etherical Cords (along with some Motrin to ease the pain).

Home from surgery (it went smoothly by the way) I had a couple of days in bed to recover.  I no sooner get comfortable in my bed and the doorbell rings.  My husband answers the door and then reappears in the bedroom with a box.  He hands it to me and says, "It's for you."  I hadn't ordered anything so this was a surprise.  It was a gift from my sister...a Doreen Virtue.  To top it off, my sister placed a post-it note marking the page where Virtue discusses Etherical Cords.  My body was literally tingling with energy.

Photo by Ximena Brunette
I was in bed and in awe.  It was like the Angels were saying, "We've been trying to get your attention. Please listen and read this book and get yourself on track."  I did and I got on track.  I learned about Angels, God, healing, energy...oh, and etherical cords and the back pain went away.  The Universe did me one better though.  After a lifetime of Motrin and Aleve it decided I should be allergic to them now.  I can't use them as a crutch anymore.

Doreen Virtue holds B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in counseling psychology.  All very important and I am not diminishing their value, but where is the degree for Angels?  It is Doreen's passion and experiences since childhood that matched my interest in learning and opened up a world to me that is beautiful and loving and healing and leaves me in a state of awe.  Since then I've removed my blinders and encountered many teachers in a variety of forms.  The Buddhist Proverb definitely proved itself to be true, "When the student is ready, the master appears."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Will You Notice Divine Guidance When It Shows Up?

It's been a week since I wrote about 2011, Numerology, Law of Attraction and Manifestation.  It got a lot of feedback.  Many sent me emails sharing the numbers they have seen popping up around them.  Thanks for your support and enthusiasm! So, did you set your intentions?  Have you been reading what you wrote down? Daydreaming about it?

On 1-11-11, I took the time to write down what I desired and how it felt to achieve the desire.   I have been reading it everyday and then closing my eyes and visualizing what I wrote.  This naturally lends itself to feeling how it would feel to achieve the desire (key for the law of attraction to work).   It is a pleasant few minutes a day with no expectations or worries as to how to achieve the desire.

Busy Thoughts Or Divine Guidance?

I often get the question about how to "quiet the mind."  I have found that focusing on one pure thought or visual for a few minutes a day is very helpful when clearing the mind is not easy.  This week I want to share with you what went on "in my mind."

Imagine you had a headphone connected to my mind when I sit down to focus on my pure thought. Below is a snapshot of the conversation that took place (with myself) a few days ago:

"Ahhhh, breath slowly... huh?  Ok, that's a good idea, I'll have to remember to look into that when I'm done visualizing." 
"Ohhhhh, another good idea, I'll have to do that focus!"
"Another good idea?  Is today good idea day or what?  Come on, I have to visualize a few minutes here."
"Yeah, I should call her and I can knock that project out pretty quickly....ok, ok, focus Maria!"
"Ok, I HAVE to write about that in a future blog post...good one!"
"What's going on here, why is my mind so busy today with ideas?"

Remember I said not to worry about the details or how you were going to achieve your desire?  Well, my ideas that were flowing into my mind a few days ago were the first steps toward achieving some of the desires I originally wrote on 1-11-11.   AHA Moment!!!!!  I grabbed my notebook and wrote them all down.  I now have the beginning of an Action Plan in place. When I was done, I went back to my pure thought and was able to enjoy the visualization without interruption.  Was this experience busy thoughts or Divine guidance?

Photo by Ximena Brunette
For me, pure thought is like a stone you throw into the water and the endless ripple effects is the flow of energy that follows. By simply allowing, the process begins to unfold.  Ideas, teachers, connections, books, offers (the list here is infinite) just "show up."  I'd say it is pretty Divine.

Want More On The Law of Attraction?

I have recommended this book before and still find it to be some of the best published material on the Law of Attraction.  Admittedly, the read may be difficult for some so I would start with the audio version and then the book for reinforcement and a place for you to bookmark and go back to for reference.

For the audio book series you may use this link to purchase:

For the book you may use this link to purchase:
The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham


"Imagination is everything.  It is the preview of life's coming attractions." 

-- Albert Einstein

Monday, January 10, 2011

2011, Numerology, Law of Attraction and Manifestation

2011 is said to be a year holding very good energy.  Have you been noticing number sequences popping up around you?  111, 222, 333, 555?  Many people around me (including myself) have noticed repetitive number sequences lately (for example 11:11 on the clock, 111 on a book page, check number 111, and so forth). There seems to be much ado with 2011 and specifically 1-11-11 (Tuesday of this week).  Many spiritual teachers around the world are hosting meditations, classes, webinars, help you understand the numerology and bring you into alignment with the good energy surrounding all of it.  

The Chinese calendar (beginning February 3, 2011) tells us that this is the year of the rabbit and for the rabbit in 2011, any recent setbacks or obstacles can be overcome, so look forward to a year in which to really shine, either personally or professionally. *  According to Doreen Virtue, "2011 is very supportive for changing careers, especially for those who are opening their own business."**

What about the significance of 1-11-11?
Doreen Virtue says to, "Monitor your thoughts carefully, and be sure to only think about what you want, not what you don't want. This sequence is a sign that there is a gate of opportunity opening up, and your thoughts are manifesting into form at record speeds. The 111 is like the bright light of a flash bulb. It means the universe has just taken a snapshot of your thoughts and is manifesting them into form. Are you pleased with what thoughts the universe has captured? If not, correct your thoughts (ask your angels to help you with this if you have difficulty controlling or monitoring your thoughts)."***

What's The Harm?
Without boring you too much, I think that even if you don't believe in numerology, astrology, spirit guides, Angels, energy or the Law of Attraction...isn't there some relief knowing that you are not working in this life alone carrying 100% of the burden?  Do you take comfort when you pray?  Talk to God?  Ask the Angels for help?  Converse with loved ones who have passed?  I do.  So why not state your intentions and send them out to the universe?

Clearly Set Your Intentions
I'm jumping on the bandwagon tomorrow and taking advantage of 1-11-11.  I plan to write in my journal.  The story I write will be descriptive of the life I desire.  I will read it every day, visualize it, and meditate.  I will remind my ego to quiet down and stop worrying about the details as to how my desire will come to be.  This is not about the how.  This is a time to let go and enjoy time with yourself and your imagination.

This is my gift to you.  Take advantage of this most auspicious year and tomorrow's most auspicious day.  Have fun and spread this information and the good that surrounds 2011 and 1-11-11.
**Doreen Virtue is a spiritual doctor of psychology and a fourth-generation metaphysician who works with the angelic, elemental, and ascended-master realms in her writings and workshops.  Doreen is the author of more than 20 books about angels, chakras, Crystal Children, Indigo Children, health and diet, and other mind-body-spirit issues, including the best-selling Healing with the Angels and Messages from Your Angels books/angel cards.  Learn more at

If you are interested in learning more, I recommend this book by Doreen Virtue:
Angel Numbers 101: The Meaning of 111, 123, 444, and Other Number Sequences

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Journey with Love, Not Heartbreak: Final Reflection of Eat, Pray, Love

I tackled the eat and the pray this week, now for the love.  I struggle to find the words to describe my journey with love.  I meditated today in an effort to give you (my readers) the very best from my heart.

In Eat, Pray, Love we celebrate Gilbert finding love in the last chapters when she unites with Felipe.  However, more than the love story itself, I think the true love she discovers is love for herself—appreciating her whole self, her journey, embracing all that she is (the good, the bad and the ugly).

She practiced celibacy for most of the year and traveled alone.  Yet, it was the relationships she had before her travel (especially with her ex-husband) and the people she befriended during her travel that (in my humble opinion) were the crux for her personal growth.  By forgiving others and mostly herself, she opened the doorway to more experiences with each encounter until she found love with Felipe.

I suppose you have been following my blog review of this book because I gave you a very personal perspective from my journey.  This final portion, love, I admit to you is still a work in progress—I am still learning to love my whole self, forgive myself and accept myself for being just who I am, Maria.

With that in mind, here we go.  I come from a loving family but one that based most everything on “what other people will think” and I was always horribly stressed out about it. Rigidity is probably the word I would pick to describe us.   I was brought up and behaved to think about everyone else (but myself).

I didn’t even begin to understand the notion of a different way to be until a very special person came into my life.  He was the extreme opposite of me (habitually late--I mean hours late not minutes--and very selfish).  Like a whirlwind I went from mostly irritated about his behavior to completely falling in love with him.  Aside from his not-so-appealing traits, he was a joy to be around and steered life from his heart.  I was so uplifted when I was with him that it made it easy to accept the other side of him.  I saw a new world through his eyes and my rigid self was relaxed for the first time in my life.  He broke my heart.  No...more like shredded it.  I was left alone on a journey to pick up the pieces.

Photo by Ximena Brunette
I recall what Wayan (the healer in Bali) says to Gilbert about love, “To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.”  Words couldn’t ring more true.  The risk of heartbreak was worth every minute for my experience.  It absolutely brought me more balance.  My rigid self transformed to be more flexible and accepting of others.  My life is far better and I will be forever grateful for it.  Expanding from it paved the way to new love--with my husband.  It is true love--deep love in every sense.   It encompasses romance, friendship, partnership and support.   We continuously push each other for greater personal growth.  He forces me to think.  Sometimes, he even irritates me.

Here's the thing:  what irritates me is merely a reminder of something I don’t like about myself.   Ahhh--personal growth--it isn’t always fun but when I finally work through it and get to the other side…there is a brilliant light and we both bathe in its love and warmth.  Love is patient and thank God my husband is.

Eat, Pray, Love is a book I thoroughly enjoyed and it gave me so much to reflect upon.  I am humbled that my friends thought of me as they pushed me to read it.  Her journey was unraveled abroad while mine was in the comfort of my living room.  The most important thing I have gained overall is knowing that no matter how difficult life gets, there is always a reason for it–a bright light in the end.  Faith in that alone is enough.

If you would like to purchase the book Eat, Pray, Love you may do so with this link:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Journey With Food, Not Diet: Another Reflection of Eat, Pray, Love

2011...A new year and new beginnings.   We usually start our year with a resolution for improved health, a planned diet regime, or perhaps set personal weight loss goals for ourselves, I thought I would tackle the "Eat" part of Eat, Pray, Love. Like my journey with God, food was also a journey.  And, like Elizabeth Gilbert, I also discovered it was all about pleasure--but with a slightly different twist.

I was laying on the couch one afternoon after having had a surgical procedure done. With nothing to do except watch some television I came across a show regarding weight loss.  The person interviewed (I can not remember his name...sorry) said something like, "Anything you want to know about diets, nutrition and exercise just ask an overweight person, they have all the answers."  Huh?

I lay there on the couch (overweight) and thought about that comment.  Of course!  I have read Atkins, South Beach Diet, You On a Diet and more.  I have tried Jenny Craig, Slim Fast and Nutri-System.  I have joined a gym, consulted with trainers, attempted aerobics (never liked it by the way) and circuit training.  I can trace my efforts at weight loss back to Jane Fonda and those sexy 20 minute workout videos from the 80s.  Remember those?  I also attempted tennis and daily walking.  You know what?  They all work!  I have lost over 30 pounds several times in my life and have gained it all back and more.

I know exactly what is required for weight loss, desire (there is that word again). Learning more about the Law of Attraction and Feng Shui I have come to see the world as a constant flow of energy.  It occurred to me that I simply had to tap into the right energy flow to lose the weight.  The question was, how?

From the pages of Esther and Jerry Hicks' book, Law of Attraction:  The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham, Abraham explains a style of journaling that seemed rather simple as a means of bringing your desires to fruition--and being one who likes to write--why not?  I was rather incapacitated with my illness (and the following surgical procedures at the time) so major exercise was out of the question--the idea of writing was appealing.

I began writing about my desire to lose weight followed with how it feels to be thinner (which was written all in present tense as my desire will never arrive if I see it in the future--I had to put myself in a frame of mind that I was already thin).  So, I proceeded to lie.   I felt great!  Weight loss was slow but writing lent itself to starting my day on a positive note.  I wanted to do more.  PHASE TWO:  I began daydreaming (or Pure Thought as described by Abraham). Two minutes a day, I allowed my eyes to close and daydream about myself and how I looked thinner and more important, how I felt thinner.  What I realized was that my frame of reference was starting to shift to skinny person thinking.

As the days went on, I was finally able to exercise.  Starting slowly, I began using the elliptical machine a few minutes a day.  As my strength grew I added whatever exercise I thought I would enjoy.  Whatever I did for exercise, it was because I enjoyed it.  I kept it simple.

Finally, I had to consider food.  Here we go:  Diet--I really don't like that word.  What can I do here?  I LOVE TO EAT.  I LOVE FOOD.  I LOVE TO COOK GREAT TASTING MEALS. As I thought about how to handle this, I didn't make sudden nor drastic changes at first.  I did simple adjustments like drinking more water, adding more fiber, adding more salad.  I chose to add things because it felt better than removing food from my life.  I felt that this idea of adding was more in line with feeling good and worked within the constructs of the Law of Attraction.

Here is what I discovered, food had very little to do with my weight.  It was the energy I gave the food.  Because I wanted to dive into the energy flow that led me to weight loss through the Law of Attraction, I had to pay attention to my thoughts. I discovered that having been overweight since childhood, the constant messages playing in my head sounded awful:

  • Your going to eat that?
  • That will go straight to your thighs.
  • I shouldn't eat this or that.
  • That food is fattening.
  • A second helping?  Do you really think you should?
  • I'm already fat, nothing will make a difference now.

This is a complete contradiction to how much I love food, right?  During the times I ate, I realized that I was not thinking like a skinny person as I was throughout the rest of the day.  There it is.  I was paying attention to my daily thoughts moment by moment, bite by bite.   That self-talk was on instant replay with nearly every bite, every choice of food I made.  I took NO PLEASURE in eating and it showed in my body.  I had to make food my friend. I had to appreciate food and love food.  Smell it, taste it, feel the energy it took before it became the masterpiece sitting on the plate in front of me. 

Slowly I realized that pleasure was key to weight loss.  Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Eat, Pray, Love made me want to take the next plane to Italy just to eat.  I loved that her comment about food and weight gain were comical and light-hearted.  It wasn't upsetting.  It was proof of her pleasure.  It was momentary.  It was fun. Obviously, the weight gain (if you have seen her recently) did not negatively affect her body.   She already knew before she left Italy that the pounds would "melt away" by the time she was in India.

As my frame of mind changed, the weight dropped.  During my trip to Greece, I ate...everything.  I gained about 10lbs of joy.  It eventually came off.  I gained again this holiday season.  I know it is temporary. More important is knowing that I am blessed to have the means to purchase the food, blessed to have a kitchen to prepare food, blessed to have friends to share my food, blessed to have food choices--blessed, blessed, blessed.  

It's been two years and except for the natural weight fluctuations, the weight has stayed off.  I have come to learn more about food as other experiences have opened themselves up to me during my weight-loss journey.   Illness forced me to look at food (again) in a different way.  This is another post--another time--no worries though, I am still enjoying food.

For now, I encourage you in whatever resolution you have made for do it with joy in your heart.  Happy New Year!

If you are interested in purchasing the books I have mentioned above you may do so with the following links:

The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Journey With God, Not Religion: One Reflection Of Eat, Pray, Love

Sitting in the back of the car, barely able to see out of the window, we sit in traffic. Endless cars in front of us and behind us.  I look at my Dad in the front seat and wonder why he does this everyday.  It occurs to me that in 8 more years I will be driving in this mess.  I start to consider how many parents with kids my age will also be driving in 8 years--oh no, that's a lot more cars.  There will be two generations on the road.  Wait a minute, if I get married (and other girls and boys get married) and they have children we could have up to 3 generations of families on the road adding to this traffic.  I imagine more highways and byways to make room for the cars, but quickly decide that would destroy the trees and the land.  Wait!  Where would the animals live?  I shiver with worry. I think about God and internally ask him why he sent me here to be a part of this craziness.   

Is this what a typical 8 year old girl thinks about?  Was this a premonition? A psychic glimpse of my future?  Perhaps.  The job I landed at the environmental organization back in the early 90s was dedicated to overpopulation and environmental issues.  Issues I still deeply care about.

Brought up Catholic, I was IN church ON time EVERY Sunday WITHOUT fail.  I questioned whether God was in there--even tested it.   During mass one Sunday morning (in my naive, childish and inquisitive manner--I was a child after all) I mumbled words that were sure to anger God and prove he was in there, "Our Father, shit, shit, shit..."  Nothing.

Photo by Ximena Brunette
Playing outdoors with my niece one afternoon (I was probably 10 or so),  I asked her if she could see the air.  She squinted looking up into the clouds but doesn't see anything. She quickly tires of me and returns to what she was doing.  I, on the other hand, was mesmerized by what I saw.  There was an essence in the air and in the sky--like billions and billions of minuscule sperm-shaped sparks randomly moving about.  I decided to keep quiet since no one else seemed to care about what I saw.  I remember thinking there is an energy around us--something greater than ourselves.  I thought, "Is this God?"

Are you ready for this?  During a Reiki training class we took a mini field trip outdoors to learn to relax our sight and see energy in our atmosphere.  There it was. What I saw as a child, I was re-introduced to as an adult.  To add to that, during that same Reiki class, we learned about sacred sanskrit symbols.  I found myself tearing as I was practicing writing one of them.  It was the symbol for God.  What evoked my emotion was that what I was drawing was something I used to doodle in my school notebooks as a kid.

My spiritual journey has taken me to levels of thinking and meditating I never knew could exist, but yet, feel so comfortable and completely natural to me.  The Catholic Church was a wonderful foundation, but did not complete my picture for the complexity that is me.  Friends who know my story have been urging me to read Eat, Pray, Love. This holiday break, I finally did. Elizabeth Gilbert poetically illustrates her journey to find herself and God. If you haven't read this, I highly recommend it.  She did a great service to many of us by sharing her life journey with us.

Despair in her marriage brought her to her knees to seek God's help.  Tragedy made me turn away from God, but it didn't last.  I finally resolved that God was always with me, a part of me.

I believe there are more people out there on their journey, too, looking for inspiration, guidance, life balance and purpose--wanting to know "why" to various issues in their lives. My painful experiences lead me to God in the most unconventional way. Gilbert teaches us that "The Hopi Indians thought that the world's religions each contained one spiritual thread, and that these threads are always seeking each other, wanting to join.  When all the threads are finally woven together they will form a rope that will pull us out of this dark cycle of history and into the next realm.  More contemporarily, the Dalai Lama assured his Western students repeatedly that they needn't become Tibetan Buddhists in order to be his pupils.  He welcomes them to take whatever ideas they like out of Tibetan Buddhism and integrate these ideas into their own religious practices.  Even in the most unlikely and conservative of places, you can find sometimes this glimmering idea that God might be bigger than our limited religious doctrines have taught us."

Does it really matter where the source comes from if it provides you a means to finding your true self and your Divine Source?  Your life's path?  I think that as you explore various teachers, authors and religions you should absolutely take whatever resonates with you and for your unique self.  It doesn't require a trip to Italy or India to find it (although I'd like to try it someday).  It merely takes your desire.

If you are interested in reading the book Eat, Pray, Love you can find it on the following link:
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
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